September 2009: Walking the World
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The Words without Borders 2009/2010 events series kicks off this Saturday, September 19, with an event in upstate New York. We'll be hosting a reading by the Israeli writer Agur Schiff and translatorEdward Gauvin, two contributors to our Walking the World issue, at Spotty Dog Books and Ale. On Monday, September 21, we're cosponsoring a book launch for Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia at Housing Works Used Bookstore and Cafe. Then on the 26th we're back upstate with Agur and Edward as part of the Ledig House BBQ in Omi New York.
In October we're cosponsoring the Polish Cultural Institute's After Kapuscinski: The Art of Reportage in the 21st Century, a two-day symposium on international reportage in a rapidly changing environment. The symposium takes place in New York City on October 6 and 7.
November is a big month for Words without Borders. Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, and Peter Schneider will be reading from The Wall in My Head at our benefit dinner, celebrating our new anthology and commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fundraiser is chaired by Leon Botstein, Václav Havel, and Kati Marton and will take place at the gorgeous Bohemian National Hall in New York City on November 9, 2009. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased online.
After a good night's sleep we're off to Idlewild Books in Manhattan on November 10 for a discussion by contributors from both The Wall in My Head and our November Germany issue. Readers include Dorota Maslowska (Poland), Dan Sociu (Romania), Masha Gessen (Russia), and Kathrin Aehnlich (Germany). The event will be moderated byEliot Borenstein, Chair of the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University.
We end the year with a discussion of international sci-fi with Michael Kandel, Musharraf Ali Farrooqi, and N.K. Jemisin at the Center for Fiction in NYC on December 1.
Details on all of the September events are below and you can learn more about all the events at our site. For those of you not in New York State, we're doing our best to make it beyond our own borders and hope to see you soon.
|From The Wall in My Head Blog
by Bill Martin
A friend in London has posted YouTube videos to his Facebook page, documents of the riots in Tehran that took place on Saturday, June 13, 2009. In this one, amid choral shouts and the sounds of traffic, a troupe of police threads its way under and past the camera in the middle of the street; it's impossible to tell who the videographer is. The camera turns: men run and launch stones off screen, a bus and a car creep forward through the crowd, a young man wearing a green kerchief over his mouth kneels down to pick up a stone. Shouts. The clamor of traffic. Then the sound goes out. A fist raised in the air, literally tens of thousands of people in the street.
June 13, 1987 was also a Saturday.
The Big Yellow Bus
by Clare Krojzl
31 August 2009
July 1986: traveling down to the Czech-Austrian frontier we had six heavy green bottles of the Moravian sparkling wine clinking delinquently against each other under our front car seats. Legally we could only export two bottles each "for personal use". The atmosphere in the car was tense as we pulled up at the frontier barrier with careful, almost exaggerated slowness, so as not to seem too eager to cross from the Communist East to the Capitalist West, or worse, as if we were about the crash through the barrier and seek asylum on the Austrian side. [More]
by Annie Janusch
28 August 2009
Twenty years ago yesterday, the Hungarian government agreed to open its border in the small town of Sopron for just three hours. Hungary had been gradually introducing greater social reforms for some time, making it a desirable place for East Germans to move to. When Hungarian officials announced a so-called Pan-European Picnic as a symbolic gesture, many East Germans living in Hungary set off for Sopron, hoping for a break to flee to the West. In just three hours, nearly 700 East Germans walked across the border from Hungary into Austria, while Hungarian border police, given orders to shoot, bravely stood by and let them pass. [More]
More from thewallinmyhead.com.
|From the WWB Blog
Notes from the Brooklyn Book Festival
by David Varno
15 September 2009
After an hour-long Subway ride due to weekend delays, I emerged from the steps at Borough Hall station in Brooklyn to the plaza, where I was pleasantly transported from the dark inertia to the middle of a free, public, outdoor literary celebration. The annual Festival is one of New York's greatest features, and its success has inspired other cities to launch their own. The first annual Boston Book Festival will take place next month, and features Orhan Pamuk along with many others.[More]
The Task of the Novelist at the University
by Arnon Grunberg
3 September 2009
Like last year, I am going to teach two courses in the Netherlands this fall. One course is on two books by Coetzee, at the University of Leiden, and one is on genetic modification from a literary point of view at the University of Wageningen.
According to its website, Wageningen is "the leading European University in Life Sciences," but not too long ago it was a known as an "agricultural university." [More]
More from the blog. . .
Voice Over: A Nomadic Conversation with Mahmoud Darwish
by Breyten Breytenbach
Archipelago Books, 2009
Reviewed by Andre Naffis
"Wait a little so that wind/not bewilder me"; this slim collection of verses sketches out the spiritual geography of a friendship between the author, the South African painter and playwright Breyten Breytenbach, and the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish who passed away in August last year following heart surgery. more>>>
|More from the Bookshelf. . .
Words without Borders in Hudson, NY
As part of our Walking the World issue, published in partnership withOrion magazine, we've partnered with Ledig House International Writers Residency to bring two contributors, translator Edward Gauvinand fiction writer Agur Schiff, to upstate New York for two readings. The first will be at Spotty Dog Books and Ale on September 19 at 3 p.m. Spotty Dog Books and Ale is located at 440 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534.
Writer and translator Edward Gauvin has received fellowships from the Clarion Foundation and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and residencies from Ledig House and the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. His work on fabulist Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud in Words without Borders and in AGNI Online,Conjunctions, Epiphany, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and The Brooklyn Rail mark the author's first appearances in English. Other translations have been featured in Two Lines XV and Absinthe. He translates graphic novels for Tokyopop, First Second Books, and Archaia Studios Press.
Agur Schiff was born in Tel Aviv in 1955 and is a graduate of St. Martin's School of Art in London, where he specialized in animation. He won critical acclaim as a filmmaker before turning to writing. His award-winning debut collection of short stories, Dying Animals and Bad Weather (1995), was followed by a second collection entitled Stories for Short Trips (1999) and two novels: Bad Habits (2004) and What You Wished For (2007). His third novel, In the Sand, will be published early next year.
This project is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Reading and Reception at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street. Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 7:00pm
Book Launch for Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia
Join Tin House Books and CEC ArtsLink in celebrating the launch of a new volume of contemporary Russian prose edited by Mikhail Iossel and Jeff Parker. With readings from the volume by featured authors Oleg Zobern and Natalia Kluchareva. The event is sponsored by the Open World Cultural Leaders Program and The Saint Petersburg Review, with support from the PEN American Center and Words without Borders.
Words without Borders at Ledig House
The Omi International Arts Center is welcoming its fall residents to the Ledig House Writers Residency Program. The session runs from September 11-November 20. The only community reading for the season will take place on Saturday, September 26th, in the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center at the Omi International Arts Center (Route 22 near Letter S Road, see Web site www.artomi.org). The residents will read from their work at 5PM and there will be a BBQ to follow. This event is free and open to the public.
The evening will include readings from the following writers:
Luìsa Costa Gomes (Portugal, Fiction/Playwriting/Translation)
Jacek Dehnel (Poland, Poetry/Fiction/Translation)
Edward Gauvin (US, Translation)
Agur Schiff (Israel, Fiction)
Chanda Rule Bernroider (US, Lyrics/Poetry)
Allison Amend (US, Fiction)
Glaydah Namukasa (Uganda, Fiction)
Nora-Eugenie Gomringer (Germany/Switzerland, Fiction)
Pa Ousman Darboe (Gambia, Nonfiction)
This event is cosponsored by Words without Borders through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
|Call for Manuscripts
Hemispheres magazine, the inflight publication of United Airlines, has partnered with Words without Borders to offer our readers a taste of world literature. We are currently looking for translated short stories of approximately 500 words in length for our monthly fiction page. Due to our readership, we cannot print stories with sexual themes, violence, disturbing scenes or obscenities. Nor can we appear to promote a particular religious or political point of view. Stories will be published in English. Submit translations to firstname.lastname@example.org.